Sunday, February 19, 2017

Obduracy of obfuscation...

How fake news spreads: look at the three images of screen clips taken from the BBC yesterday (click on images to link); the left hand image was on their main news page on Saturday afternoon (yesterday), the other two are from the article on the Europe News page that the first story linked to (since updated: Newssniffer).

BBC Europe News 18-02-17
1. First link, main news page: "Dutch Populist calls Moroccans 'scum'"
2. Article: Europe News: "Dutch populist Geert Wilders calls some Moroccans 'scum'". The first line iterates this: "Dutch populist leader Geert Wilders has launched his election campaign by calling some Moroccans "scum"."
3. What Wilders said: "There is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe".

...needless to say that the number of visitors who read the first headline would be far, far more than read the 2nd; the numbers reading the 2nd would be far, far more than those that actually read the whole article and get to what Wilders actually said. There is an improvement for the BBC Online: a couple of years ago the pertinent quote would have been further down, below the scroll line and under at least one photo and they would have called him 'far-right'.

1 = fake news; 2 = on the verge of fake news; 3 = news.  It's not complicated or difficult to get right. As usual, today it isn't on the main news page and the Europe News headline has been 'down-faked' to "Geert Wilders talks of Moroccan 'scum'" but by now most who would read it have read the fake news. 

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